You don’t have to travel all the way to Thailand or South Africa to enjoy some much needed sun rays in winter: Visiting Lisbon is almost as wonderful – and much cheaper: I paid 80 Euros for my EasyJet flight from Hamburg to Lisbon.
Once arrived, I thought it’s best to live in Bairro Alto/Chiado since you can easily walk down to the river Tejo as well as to the neighborhoods Baixa and Alfama. But also, most of the city’s attractions and nightlife happen to be in Bairro Alto/Chiado anyway. As a centre point, take the pedestrian zone Rua Garrett, for instance. Here, you find the famous Café A Brasileira, which I, personally, found too expensive and full of tourists with cameras and maps. The nearby Tartine was a thousand times more beautiful – for both pastries (Pasteís de Nata!) and lunch or dinner.
Also, worth visiting is Taberna da Rua das Flores – a small restaurant where I head twice during my stay with a daily changing menu full of local fish dishes and lots of veggies, too. Freshly baked bread, olives and olive oil are served with every dish, plus the staff is oh-so friendly.
In terms of even more food, head to Cais do Sodre to Time Out Mercado da Ribeira, a food hall serving all kinds of Portuguese as well as lots of international specialties. But also to enjoy the view over river Tejo, for a walk along the promenade or for a drink at Vestigius Bar, Cais do Sodre was one of the districts where I spent most of my time.
If you happen to be in Lisbon on a Saturday, make sure you head to Alfama, to the famous flea market Feira de Ladra. It is busy indeed and expensive, too, nonetheless the flair up on the hill is worth coming by.
In terms of shopping, I enjoyed LX Factory a lot, too. Being located slightly outside of the city centre (take the bus or tram from Cais do Sodre), furniture, fashion and book shops are awaiting you there. Restaurants and cafés next to the shops invite you to even stay a couple of hours up to an entire day at LX Factory.
Once in Lisbon, I suggest you also visit Cascais, a coastal town 40 minutes (by train) east of Lisbon. Already on your way you will spot the glittering ocean to your left. Finally, the charming town offers not only a couple of sandy beaches but also nice shops and cafés, such as the roof terrace of House of Wonders where I enjoyed a green juice, a delicious salad and a slice of homemade chocolate cake.
But after all, Lissabon impressed me most with its wonderful houses: Mosaic facades everywhere you go, freshly washed laundry in front of the balconies and large windows give the town it’s special charm and stayed on my mind more than everything else of the city.
Enjoy your short tip to Lisbon!